Chef knives are common in most kitchens today. They come in different shapes and sizes to meet your kitchen requirements. However, many of us do not know the clear difference between a chef knife and a Damascus steel chef knife. While they may look similar in size some visual differences help you differentiate.
While an 8-inch chef knife does not have any pattern on its blade, a Damascus chef knife has a wavy pattern on the blade. This pattern is not constant so you’ll get a different shape on the purchase of every new 8-inch Damascus steel knife. Apart from visual appearance, there are a lot more features of Damascus chef knife that make it worth buying.
What is Damascus Chef Knife?
Before beginning with the reviews, it is important to know what exactly is Damascus chef knife? Similar to many other types of knife these knives are also made of steel. But unlike ordinary steel, Damascus chef knives are made from Damascus steel(1, 2). This quality of steel was used to make the sword and other such war tools in the late 13th century. And now the same high-grade Damascus material is used to make the chef knives.
Such steel has a wavy or molten pattern on it which identifies as Damascus steel. One can clearly tell the difference just by looking at the knife. But the problem is, many competitors fool their customers by making Damascus steel pattern on the ordinary blade. Also, they demand a high price for a cheap quality product. So we have listed down some of the best Damascus chef knives that are perfect for everyday kitchen use.
1) Zelite Infinity Chef Knife 8 Inch, Damascus Japanese Steel – Best for Home Cook or Restaurant Kitchen
Durability and aesthetics of Zelite Infinity 8-inch Damascus steel Japanese chef knife have won the heart of many people. If you’ve used such a knife before then you can feel the perfect balance between the blade and handle. You can also notice the difference immediately even if you’re buying the product for the first time. Good balance between the 8-inch blade and handle minimizes effort while chopping, dicing, and slicing ingredients. Whereas, ergonomically designed handles provide a comfortable grip that reduces wrist tension when chopping hard-skinned ingredients like meat.
Super steel quality of the AUS-10 Japanese Damascus knife is highly durable. This 67-layer high carbon stainless steel is stain and corrosion-resistant. Out of the box, it comes razor-sharp that can cut through both soft and hard items like butter. Also, it retains the sharpness for a long time as compared to a standard steel 8-inch chef knife. Therefore, you’ll not have to sharpen the edge frequently.
The 12-degree blade edge of Zelite AUS-10 makes slicing meat, chicken, steak, sushi, etc feel like slicing butter. This is one important feature that many brands fail to provide. Such a degree also helps to remove bone from the flesh easily. So whether you’re a home cook or a pro chef, this high-grade Damascus steel chef knife will never fail you. Yes, it is quite an investment but worth every single penny.
- Military-grade G10 handle provides utmost comfort no matter you use your right or hand hand
- Preferred by professional chefs
- 2.4 mm thick blade with beautiful Damascus pattern resists stains, corrosion, and discoloration
- Rounded edges ensure your fingers or palm do not get hurt when holding or washing the unit
- Use of premium quality materials in the construction ensures durability
- This full tang, double bevel knife was finished using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method
- Retains sharpness for a long time
- Lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects when purchased directly
- Bit expensive but worth the money
- You need to buy the cover separately
2) DALSTRONG Chef’s Knife Damascus – Japanese AUS-10V Super Steel – Vacuum Treated – Hammered Finish – 8″ – w/Guard
Damascus steel knife is well known for its long-lasting sharpness. And in order to retain this sharpness, Dalstrong Damascus Japanese 8-inch chef knife comes with a guard. The topnotch quality of guard ensures no one gets cut while searching for the tool in the cutlery section of the kitchen cabinet. And at the same time, it also protects the blade from external factors such as humidity and ensures long life.
What we love the most about this 8-inch Damascus steel chef knife is its exquisite hammered finish. Not only does this look beautiful but it reduces drag and prevents sticking of food while you slice or chop them. So you will not have to risk your finger removing stuck fruit or veggies from the blade. Besides, the bolster of the Dalstrong chef’s knife is tapered instead of flat. Such a tapered bolster provides a perfect ‘zero-balance’. Therefore, you will not feel wrist fatigue or distress even if there’s a bunch of ingredients to chop.
Similar to the above product, this Damascus steel chef knife is also given a final finish with the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method. The edge is hand-finished to a mirror polish at 8-12 degrees per side. And with blade honed to such a degree, you can easily cut through hard-skinned food like beef and fried turkey in a snap. Robust construction, aesthetic design, and high durability make it worth buying.
- Liquid nitrogen cooling of the blade increases the steel’s crystalline structure which results in robust strength and hardness
- Hammered design on the blade prevents sticking of watery fruits and vegetables
- The best Damascus steel chef knife for home cooks and professional use
- Honbazuke sharpening creates a beautiful mirror polished edge at acute 10 degrees per side
- Non-porous fiberglass like the material of the handle does not fade or crack away even after years of use
- Comes with a premium quality blade cover that retains the sharpness of the blade for a long time
- Japanese super steel core provides ultimate performance every time
- Tapered bolster in combination with ergonomically shaped handle provides utmost comfort while you use the knife
- Backed by a lifetime warranty against defects
- The replacement blade cover is hard to find
3) Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife (8.25” (210mm))
Handcrafted in Japan Yoshihiro VG10 16-layer hammered Damascus gyuto chef knife is ideal for meat lovers. Unlike 8-inch, the blade length of this chef knife is 8.25 inches. And with the spine thickness of 3 mm you can literally feel slicing meat and other hard-skin foods is like slicing butter. Even though the unit is handcrafted in Japan, it features a western-style mahogany handle. This handle with gentle curves extends to the full tang of the knife for effortless chopping, slicing, and dicing.
Hammered design of the Yoshihiro Japanese Damascus chef knife reduces friction while chopping dry ingredients. And on the other hand, the same hammered design prevents the sticking of juicy foods. Speaking of the blade, both the VG-10 steel core and outer Damascus steel are stain-resistant. Therefore, you can keep chopping wet ingredients for extended periods as the material will not catch rust easily.
- It is a perfect hand made Damascus steel chef knife to cut meat, fish, and vegetable
- Sturdy steel of the unit is rust and stain-resistant
- Beautiful hammered design is good to look at as well as reduces friction
- Premium handcrafted Mahogany handle extends to the full tang for proper balance
- VG-10 Japanese stainless steel center core results in exceptional sharpness and edge retention
- 100% hand forged by skilled tradesmen in Japan
- Manufacturing warranty covers defects or hole on the blade due to improper forging
- Use only Japanese whetstone for honing the edge
- Hand wash only
4) DALSTRONG Japanese Damascus Chef Knife – Vacuum Heat Treated – 9.5″ (240mm)
Here comes another Dalstrong product on our best Damascus chef knife reviews. Unlike the above model, the blade length of this unit is 9.5 inches. And at 2.2 mm thick, the blade sails through vegetables and meats with minimal effort. Thanks to 67 layers of premium high-carbon stainless steel that provide exceptional strength and stain resistance. Chop with confidence every time with a Dalstrong chef knife.
The ruthlessly sharp edge is hand polished for a mirror-like shine. And sharpening of the Damascus chef knife does not involve an electric sharpener. They give a final finish to the knife with a traditional 3-step Honbazuke method. This method ensures long-lasting sharpness. First, the blade is vacuum heated, given shape, and then nitrogen cooled. Following these steps enhances hardness and flexibility.
Beautiful ‘tsunami-rose’ layers on the blade beautify the whole product. While the tapered blade results in a buttery smooth cut, the ultra-premium G-10 handle made with military-grade material provides life-long durability. This hand-polished handle is engineered to provide maximum comfort no matter what ingredient you’re chopping. And with such great control, you can easily finish your chopping without stressing your wrist.
- The non-slip handle lets you cut through hard-skinned and dry ingredients smoothly
- Impervious to heat and cold
- Narrow width in combination with a slight curve on the belly makes it a highly maneuverable slicer
- Razor-sharp edge is perfect for slicing sushi, salmon, beef, etc
- Rust-resistant cladding
- Lightweight in spite of long blade
- Cryogenic tempering increases the strength of the steel
- Includes a saya(sheath) with a traditional pin and string locking mechanism
- Backed by a lifetime warranty against defects
- A bit difficult to sharpen by yourself
5) Daddy Chef Chef Knife 8 inch – Damascus Blade from Japanese 67 Layer Stainless Steel – Ultra Sharp – Precision Cutting
If you’ve never used a Damascus chef knife before and are planning to buy one for home use then this product from Daddy Chef is the best. Just like many other products on the list this unit also offers excellent performance and high durability. But the best thing about this product is its price. You can get this high-grade Damascus steel chef knife under $100. Yes, we know there is no big price difference but it is cheaper than other 8-inch knives on the list.
A balanced stainless steel bolster provides the perfect counterweight assisting in precision. Also, it helps to reduce wrist fatigue when chopping for a long time. Whereas, the 67-layer high carbon unit gives a precision cut every time. And the hammered finish on the blade reduces friction while you slice a hard layer of food like pineapple, meat, etc. It also prevents the sticking of watery vegetables like tomato, cucumber, apple, and other similar ingredients.
The ergonomically shaped sandalwood handle is strong, durable, and moisture-resistant. It will not crack or dull over time even if used regularly. For best results, hand wash the unit after every use and dry immediately. If you’re planning to use it on special occasions then store it inside the wooden box it comes with. You can also use the box to gift the unit to your friend.
- Tightly compressed carbides do not let the blade break while you hone or sharpen it
- Affordable as compared to other units offering a bunch of the same features
- Comes with a wooden box to store the knife properly
- One of the best Damascus steel chef knife for home use
- Razor-sharp edge will not dull fast even if you use it regularly
- Moisture-resistant, durable, and comfortable sandalwood handle
- Daddy Chef provides a lifetime warranty against defects
- Do not use an electric knife sharpener to sharpen the knife, however, you can hone it using a ceramic honing rod
6) Pro Chef's Knife 8 Inch, 73-layer Damascus VG-10 Core Japanese Steel Kitchen Knife
Damascus knives are costlier than standard steel knives due to their outstanding strength and performance. However, not many of us can invest such a hefty amount in a knife. So on the list, we've included Pro Chef 8-inch Damascus steel knife under $100. Do not let the low price tag of the unit confuse you with its capabilities as it has a lot more features to offer. Firstly, thanks to the 73-layer that gives immense strength and hardness. As a result, it cuts easily through hard-skinned foods.
This hand-sharpened double-bevel blade angle ranges from 12-15 degrees on each side. Therefore, you can comfortably use the knife no matter whether you're right-handed or lefty. Besides, the VG-10 cutting core with 36 layers on each side creates a flowing pattern that is both beautiful and corrosion-resistant. You can use the knife in a commercial kitchen for an extended time as water will not rust or corrode the layers of Damascus steel.
- Thin Damascus blade ensures juice of fruits, protein, and vegetables while slicing
- The budget-friendly price tag makes it great for personal use or gifting
- The wavy pattern on the knife is attractive as well as reduces friction while chopping
- Full tang design provides strength and balance that reduces wrist fatigue
- Ideal to use for both hands
- The razor-sharp blade cuts like butter and does not need frequent sharpening
- Oval stainless steel curved molded handle has no sharp areas as well as is comfortable to hold
- The blade is thin
- Bit heavy
7) YOSHIHIRO NSW 46 layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife 8.25 inch(210mm)
While some people like wavy, floral patterns, some prefer hammered Damascus steel chef knife. And if you are a big fan of the hammered pattern then Yoshihiro has the best model to offer. This handmade Damascus steel knife is forged and hammered with 46 layers of steel. These 46 layers help ease everyday kitchen tasks like chopping, dicing, slicing, shredding, etc. From slicing soft tomato to carving a roast chicken straight from the oven, this sturdy unit can do it all.
The VG-10 steel core is high-grade Japanese steel that is very hard. It has a hardness or an HRC level that exceeds most other stainless steel cutlery on the market. However, the hard VG-10 steel is clad in a softer Damascus steel in order to give the blade an added toughness and durability. Whereas, the hammered surface eliminates the friction and keeps food from sticking to the blade.
While many brands have a straight or curved handle, Yoshihiro's hand-forged Damascus steel chef knife features an octagonal handle. This octagonal handle is made from Shitan rosewood affixed with a double bolster. The width and shape of the handle allow both right-handed and left-handed home chefs to work effortlessly. And if you're planning to use the knife occasionally then Yoshihiro includes a protective wooden sheath called Saya which protects the knife and keeps the blade sharp for a long time.
- The Saya cover is made from natural Magnolia wood that protects the blade when not in use
- Forged and hammered in Japan
- Traditional Japanese style handle, octagonal in shape is suitable for both hands
- This long Damascus steel knife is best to cut meat and fish
- 46 layers of steel offer an unmatchable performance and sharpness that stays for a long time
- Double bolster ensures comfort and strength
- Thinner cutting edge cuts sharply as well as results in less loss of juice while chopping watery foods
- Sharpening and honing should be done with only water whetstones
- Hand wash only
8) MIKARTO Japanese Chef Knife, 8 Inch, Damascus Stainless Steel
Let us agree on the fact that any utensil or tool having hammer-finish stands out from the rest. And who doesn't love to have a lovely tool in their kitchen that can gather 'wow' from family and guests. Mikarto Japanese 8-inch Damascus stainless steel knife is a perfect example of aesthetics and affordability. The high-quality stainless steel blade is given a beautiful hammered finish that looks and feels like a highly expensive chef knife. But not to worry as the product has a budget-friendly price tag despite rich built-up.
Its high-retention subliminally sharp blade with a triple-riveted military-grade handle is ideal for multi-use. You can use the Japanese Damascus knife for cooking, food preparation, baking, and much more. The high-quality construction of the AUS-10 vacuum-heated Damascus blade falls through a variety of food. From soft fruits to dense meat, the blade promises laser-precision slicing.
The ergonomic G-10 handle is triple-riveted to ensure steadiness while cutting through dense meat or removing fish bones. Plus, the slip-resistant coat provides a firm grip while slicing soft fruits or veggies. Thanks to the sturdy bolster design in between handle and blade that provides better support and keeps the blade stable while chopping or mincing ingredients. In short, the unit is well-balanced for everyday kitchen use.
- Beautiful copper mosaic in the middle
- Engraved, nitrogen-tempered and heat-treated
- Includes storage box and polishing cloth
- Full-tang knife is rust and corrosion-resistant
- Razor like 8-12º for ultimate sharpness
- 62+ Rockwell hardness
- Best Japanese damascus steel chef knife with a well-balanced spine and bolster design
- Not suitable for extreme-thin slicing
- Hand wash only
9) LEVINCHY Japanese Damascus Stainless Steel Kitchen Knife - Non-slip Handle
It is okay to feel a bit skeptical to buy a new chef knife especially when it costs too much. And if you're not yet ready to invest a huge amount in a single unit then Levinchy has a perfect solution. Its 8-inch professional Damascus stainless steel kitchen knife is beautiful, durable, and affordable. In short and simple words, it offers all the qualities you seek in a budget chef knife.
Instead of machine smoothening, the blade is hand-finished with a mirror polish. The edge is polished at 8-12º per side to meet different requirements. Besides, the edge is forged using the traditional 3-step Honbazuk method. This method combines many fine layers of steel sheets to make a single blade that involves 12 manual processes. As a result, this creates gorgeous circular wave patterns that may differ slightly in each piece.
The razor-sharp forged Damascus knife is finished with a beautiful wooden handle. The wood passes high temperature and high-pressure tests which makes it perfect to make the handle. Unlike ordinary wood, the Pakka wood handle of Levinchy's handmade steel knife can withstand great forces without breaking or deforming. Also, the wooden handle is hand-polished to protect from external elements like dust, water, etc.
- High-carbon steel core with 67 layers of steel
- Safe finger guard design to ensure safety while cutting various foods/ingredients
- Cutting edge angle 8-12 degree for ultimate sharpness
- Made using traditional 3-step Honbazuk method and 12 manual processes
- hand-finished mirror polish on the blade, whereas, the wooden handle is hand-polished for better firmness
- The box includes a protective case, red suede protection inside, and a matte gift box
- Best handmade damascus kitchen knife under $100
- Need to sharpen more often
- Wash and dry the blade carefully after each use to avoid rusting
10) FANTECK Professional Damascus Chef Knife - UltraSharp VG-10, 67 Layers
Here's another budget-friendly option if you do not want to spend a thick wad of cash on a single blade. Fanteck professional stainless steel knife under $100 is great for home use. Measuring 8-inch long, the knife easily stores in any kitchen cabinet as well as is easy for beginners to hold. Thanks to the ergonomic G-10 handle, blue in color, that provides excellent grip and balance to cut various food easily. And precision follows when you have good control over the blade.
Just like a majority of stainless steel Damascus knives, this unit is also crafted from 67 layers of VG-10 Japanese high carbon material. All the layers are combined and compressed to form a sharp single edge that cuts meat, fish, boiled eggs, fruits, vegetables, and herbs effortlessly. In addition to high-carbon layers, the blade is vacuum heat treated and cooled using nitrogen that provides superior durability.
Sharpening of the edge is essential for precise cutting and user safety. So Fanteck carbon steel chef knife includes a mini sharpener which makes it extremely easy to sharpen the edge in seconds. To protect against any damage while storage, Fanteck also comes with an elegant knife sheath. Always cover the shape blade with a sheath when the knife is not in use to avoid any accidents.
- The edge is hand sharpened to 10-15º per side
- Razor-sharp edge is ideal for chopping, slicing, mincing, dicing any fruit, fish, dry fruits, sushi, vegetables, meat, etc
- Comes with a mini sharpener for quick sharpening of the edge
- V-Glod 10 Japanese super steel cutting core
- Ergonomically designed blue glass fiber handle
- Affordable product; Perfect for gifting
- Best cheap Damascus steel chef knife with sheath
- Is not exactly razor-sharp like high-end models
- Handle design could be better
Most Favorite Knife Size
Damascus knives come in different sizes. But the most preferred size is 7 to 8-inch. This is a common size of the kitchen knife and most people find it comfortable to use. Also, an 8-inch chef knife is well balanced so you feel less pressure while chopping, dicing, or slicing ingredients. You can use it for both soft and hard ingredients, the perfect balance of an 8-inch Damascus chef knife will help to cut through them smoothly. Besides, they are easy to wash with hands and store in the kitchen cabinet. Finding a cover for them is easy and cheap as compared to a long chef knife. All such reasons make an 8-inch Damascus chef knife ideal for household and commercial use.
Is Damascus steel rustproof?
Just like any kitchen knife, Damascus knives also need good care for long-lasting performance. Moisture and acidic foods react with carbon steel Damascus blades. But that does not mean you cannot use them to cut fruits, lemon, tomatoes, and other acidic foods. You can surely cut them but make sure to wash them immediately after use.
In addition to immediate wash after cutting acidic foods, you should also dry the Damascus blade before storage. A wet blade is prone to rust. Besides, select a storage space that is not affected by humidity or temperature changes. A box or padded zipper case is better for knife storage.
A traditional Damascus steel knife was made using only Damascus steel but nowadays different types of steel are used in making Damascus steel knives. This makes the blade more prone to rust than the original material. So in short, your Damascus knife is not completely rustproof. Some simple storage and care will prevent rusting of the blade.
Is Damascus steel better than stainless steel?
A lot of metals or layers of metal are fused together to make a single Damascus knife. And as we already mentioned, nowadays you'll find Damascus stainless steel composed of a lot of cheap materials. And this results in cracks, stains, and blunt blades only after a few uses. So you must only get such an expensive product from a trusted source.
But if we compared Damascus and stainless steel then Damascus definitely wins in terms of strength and quality. The multiple layers of carbon stainless steel make the knife ideal for cooking and even hunting use. You can carry it in your camping bag as it will prove to be helpful in case of an emergency. Plus, it will not lose its sharpness quickly even if you use a Damascus knife regularly.
Are Damascus Chef Knives good?
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to a Damascus chef knife for regular use. Is it worth investing such a huge amount? Are they any good than regular stainless steel knives? Well, there are a lot of different opinions about them and we've tried to cover all the important matters for you to decide better.
Some people really loved the sharp performance of Damascus steel knives. Not only on soft fruits and veggies but they also used the knife to carve meat. While some carried the Damascus unit with them while camping and fishing as a safety precaution. The multiple metal layer does not need frequent sharpening as a regular stainless steel chef knife. Plus, carbon layers are extremely durable as highly resistant to scratch, stains, and cracking.
On the other hand, some people do not feel it is worth investing a hefty amount in Damascus knives. They argued it is no point spending more than $100 dollars on a knife that can do the same things as a $50 or $70 knife. Also, many people got cheated in the name of original Damascus knives which made them hate the product. Besides, there are many companies that promise to provide users a quality product but instead simply cut the steel in the shape of Damascus with laser or acid to create the appearance. So always buy such expensive products from a trusted brand or company that is known for making quality knives.
How Damascus knives are made?
If you wonder what is the process of knife making then, here is a simple video tutorial to help you understand the making of such high-grade chef knives.
How much does a Damascus knife cost?
Damascus knives are expensive due to multiple layers of metal forged into a single layer. Also, the making process requires skill and a specific selection of metal or metal alloys. An average cost of hand-hammered or forged Damascus knives is $150. You can easily get a good quality unit around this range. But there are also expensive units in the market that costs $200-$250 which includes a storage case as well. Or you can go for low-range models that cost around $50-$60 without a storage box.
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As of now, you know Damascus steel chef knife holds many advantages. Mainly the special Damascus steel was used to make war tools but now it has taken over the knife industry. Thanks to the high carbon content and multiple layers of steel that make Damascus chef knife special. They require less frequent sharpening and are highly durable. And that beautiful wavy, patterned blade makes it different from others. So if a razor-sharp tool is your need then Damascus steel chef blade will not fail you.